MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 02/05/12
Thursday, 03 May 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: -10.75 Level: 13268.57 NASDAQ PointChange: +9.41 Level: 3059.85 NQ100 PercentChange: +0.3 R2K PercentChange: +0.3 SP400 PercentChange: +0.2 SP500 PointChange: -3.51 Level: 1402.31 NASDAQ-Adv:1367 Dec: 1157 NYSE-Adv:1304 Dec: 1683
[BRIEFING.COM] Disappointing jobs data played a part in sending the major equity averages to sizable losses in early trade, but stocks were able to improve their position, resulting in a relatively mixed finish.
Early participants were generally uninspired by the latest round of earnings reports, which featured upside surprises from MasterCard (MA 451.58, -4.32), Broadcom (BRCM 36.89, +0.18), CVS Caremark (CVS 45.92, +1.21), and Time Warner (TWX 37.29, -0.63). Their reports were partly overshadowed by another disappointing Manufacturing PMI reading from the eurozone.
Sentiment ahead of the open soured further when it was learned that the latest ADP Employment Report suggested that nonfarm private payrolls increased by only 119,000 during April, despite expectations for an increase of 170,000. The report is often regarded as a harbinger for the government's official monthly payrolls report, the latest of which will be released this Friday.
Energy and Financial stocks were leaders in the prior session, but they lagged this session. Persistent weakness in the pair hampered the broad market's effort to trade higher. Energy settled with a 1.6% loss; Chesapeake Energy (CHK 16.74, -2.86) was especially weak in the wake of a displeasing quarterly report that included relatively light revenue and earnings. Financials, which fell 1.0% as a group, were weighed down by diversified financial services stocks and investment banking and brokerage shares.
The Consumer Discretionary sector put together a 0.5% gain in the face of broad market weakness, but its lack of weight limited its ability to offer any real leadership. Teen apparel retailers were especially strong after American Eagle (AEO 20.90, +3.01) raised its earnings forecast; the ensuing surge in shares of AEO took its stock price to its best level in about four years.
Although stocks were able to fight through some selling, commodities were clipped for sizable losses. As a result, the CRB Commodity Index suffered a 1.3% loss, which snapped a six-session streak of gains. The CRB hasn't had such a weak performance in three weeks. A stronger dollar certainly didn't help the case for commodities; the greenback gained 0.4% against a basket of major foreign currencies, but most of that move came because the euro was weakened in the wake of disappointing eurozone data.
Advancing Sectors: Consumer Discretionary +0.5%, Consumer Staples +0.3%, Industrials +0.1%, Tech +0.1%
Declining Sectors: Health Care -0.1%, Utilities -0.6%, Materials -0.6%, Financials -1.0%, Energy -1.6%
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